Post Sauna at the gym. I am a happy, hot, sweaty mess with eye makeup, everywhere!
I swim a lot. I am a member of a gym here in the UK which has a pool, and I swim in that pool. A lot.
The gym also has a sauna and sweat room - which I also use. A lot.
Each of these regimes require swimsuits.
For me - it means DIFFERENT swimsuits. When I swim at the gym, I am exercising. I require a higher necklined swimsuit that makes me feel supported and confident. No matter what we do in life, we need to feel confident. It helps. The gym is no different and for me, having a swimsuit that is the right shape and support for exercise is very important.
Now, on the days I just go and use the sauna or steam room - again, I have to feel confident. For me, simply using the Sauna is like a post work-out luxury. It is leisure. Pure and simple. I like to wear a different suit for that: a little lower cut, a little cuter.
What I am trying to say, is that in everything we do - we need to feel as confident as we can... This is AS TRUE at a swimming pool as it would be if I were to go on holiday to a resort or even to my old friend Bondi Beach in Sydney.
I have been so frustrated by swimsuits this year... I need support. I rock a MASSIVE pair of breasts, that simply can not do with a simple "size 20" swimsuit. I need cup size and (preferably) underwire. It sounds so simple... right?
For example, I bought and RETURNED this swimsuit, "SEVILLE" by Fantasie (above)... It HAD underwire, but NO cup support. Gorgeous and sized exactly for my back and cup - but completely frustrating.
So ultimately, this year, I have tried a BUNCH of suits. I have finally found two... THAT WILL DO. Neither are phenomenal. BUT each will do their job. These suits are from Evans.
BERRY HALTER SWIMSUIT - Size 20 (F-G Cup) £15.00 (ON SALE).
This is a beautifully coloured suit. Lovely. The underwire and cups feel strong and the support looks good on the hanger. However, I bought and returned this swimsuit. Why? The halter neck. Seriously - what a bad choice. With no actual PROPER shoulder straps, there is no momentum to pull up and maintain the swimsuit when you first get it on. I can not speak for girls with a smaller chest - but in the F-G cup sizing, the swimsuit just feels barely there, once you get it on. Indeed, as I struggled to get the halter done up, I just felt so uncomfortable. I WISH this suit had been designed with over-shoulder strap support. Likewise, I LOVE the Evans bikinis and wish that they had made them as tankinis or used them as a guide for the swimsuits in a heavier cup. This IS a really cute suit, but for me as a size F-G Cup, I knew I would not feel secure in the top half of the suit, and so - returned it.
For those of you who are curious though - this did feel a little like saucy underwear... but you can get better versions at Simply Be - via Gok Wan and the Curve Controller. Maybe I should wear THAT to the gym. Va Va Voom!
The Crossover Tankini Top and Briefs - Size 20 (F-G Cup) £34 (COMBINED PRICE)
This is my swimming/excercise suit... I admit it. I was completely skeptical about this suit. I thought that the "support shelf" and "padded cup" would never support me adequately, but it does okay. I feel comfortable, I feel like my heavy breasts don't drop in the suit, my breasts are identifiable as two entities (avoiding the Uni-Boob shape my previous suit was giving me) and the suit itself feels pretty comfy. I DO wish this came with an underwire, however, it doesn't. In a way - I have had to empower myself NOT to rely on underwire. The suit is tight enough and has a degree of support which DOES do the job. Not perfectly - but okay. And ultimately - right now, because I like swimming and want to swim - this suit will do. I bought the Tankini with the swimming briefs and wish (on swimming a few times) I had sized down in the brief. They fit okay, but I would have liked them a bit snugger.
The brief sits high around my waist - which is good for confidence (in that they hold bellies in!) and comfort. The tankini covers the pant and I feel kind of snug in the suit. It is like a cute, tight little pair of shorts and a top. Not great, but not bad either. I have not had a chance to take shots in this suit as I am usually shattered by the time I finish my laps!
The Spot Control Swimsuit - Size 20 (F-G Cup) £20 (ON SALE).
All these photos were taken in a gym change room. A communal gym change-room isn't the most appropriate place to take a photo - hence, I am in LIMITED space for full shots. BUT - you get the drift!
Talk about your cute little suits. I LOVE this. LOVE it. It is a little bit retro, a little bit babe. It is perfect for a beach or a little cute leaisure time in the sauna or spa. I like the lowish cut leg, that I can adjust slightly. I like the high banded line under my breasts, which helps create waist emphasis and shape. I like that the suit makes me look like a little cutey and that despite it showing a little belly bump - it does do it's best to shape me in - and control my gut...
As for support - well, honestly?
I can not stand the cups on this suit... or the absolute lack of support. Seriously. When I wore this suit for the first time, I noticed spill around the sides of my breasts OUT of the cups. The banded waist tries hard, as do the cups, but really support is NOMINAL and the drop my breast experiences is significant AND makes my cleavage gape a little on the Tori Spelling side of life (bless her, I actually LOVE her). I am an F cup. This is designed for an F-G cup...
Wait, here is a blurry Blackberry photo...
Blurry? Sure. But, what - it looks okay? My boobs look supported and my cleavage looks good? Yeah. It does.
But, Emma, you just mentioned a severe LACK of support, so how can this be? Well...
I am wearing a BRA with this suit. Not one of my awesome every day bras. But an old Simone Perele Plunge bra (which caters to plus size backs and boobies), that had the underwire pop on it. So simple.
The next swimsuit I have ordered to try is also from Evans - The Twist Control Swimsuit... so I will keep you posted on that. EDIT: Thanks to the comment by ANONYMOUS below, I have also just ordered the Anna Swimsuit by Panache too...
I hope this post helps some of you make some swimsuit choices. My best support from all these suits came from the tankini - and conceding that fact, considering it has no underwire, is relatively startling to me. My favourite suit, the one photographed, I had to pop a wee bra in - to help myself feel comfort and support. This isn't so much about wearing a swimsuit and feeling empowered, so much as finding something you can feel confident and comfortable in. Once you get that - empowerment will come.